What was it all about, really, that rally in Lower Manhattan a few weeks ago? I mean the one that was attended by thousands (though the police did not offer an official estimate, a policeman present told one of the organizers that he estimated the crowd at “5,000”). I mean the one where a man speaking loudly in Arabic was assumed by some to be conducting Da’wa on behalf of Islam, and responded to, by a few, in agitated tones. Yes, I mean that rally which Keith Olbermann both dismissed as too tiny for him to deign to notice (“300 people”) and at the same time took careful notice of, because to the keith-olbermanns of this world, any opposition to Muslim demands must surely be a sign of “intolerance” by crazed right-wingers. And those who had angrily responded to the man speaking in Arabic (in truth, a Copt recently arrived from Egypt whose voice was raised in fury and fear against the Mosque, as a sinister symbolic beachhead of Islam) were seen as “whites” attacking someone who was “brown-skinned.”
What the rally was all about was something we read about, when we read with affection and interest the Bill of Rights and come across that phrase about the right of the people “to peaceably assemble” and read, furthermore, about the right to a “redress of grievances.” For in truth that is all it was: a gathering of many people who were mightily offended, cut to the quick, by the prospect of there being erected a giant mosque on a spot right near Ground Zero, site of the largest Muslim terrorist attack in history so far, and of the deadliest foreign attack on American soil, rivaled in casualties only by Pearl Harbor. Who were these people? There were many who were relatives of those who had died in the World Trade Center, and who found the idea of a 13-story mosque complex on what they regarded as hallowed ground not merely unseemly but a cruel outrage, no matter how it was decked out by its sly promoter, and so far only would-be begetter, one Feisal Abdul Rauf. Many of those relatives of the victims, those who showed up at the rally and those who did not but not because their quiet fury was any less, knew that this would be an offense.
Some news stories did, at least, decently convey the feeling of those relatives:
“I don’t like it, said Evelyn Pettignano who lost a sister in the attacks, during a phone interview on Thursday. “I’m not prejudiced…It’s too close to the area where our family members were murdered.”
“I lost my brother, Sean. He was a fireman,” Rosaleen Tallon said.
“As an American I am so proud of our freedom of religion, but I also think we have to be historically sensitive to what happened in that area” Tallon said.
Tallon wants to teach her son, Paddy, to be tolerant of other religions. But she wonders if other religions, like Islam, are teaching their children to be tolerant of hers. There are other places in the city, she said, for another mosque.”
“I don’t think that they would build a German cultural center right near Auschwitz. Just because you’re looking at what happened to the people that died there. That’s all that should be focused on,” Tallon said.
And there are others – those who were quoted, and those who were not quoted, those relatives of the murdered who attended the rally, and those relatives who, for all kinds of reasons, did not.
And does anyone doubt what the outcome would be if a poll were taken of the relatives of the victims as to whether or not they found the proposed mosque construction an offense, an outrage – though they have all been taught to be almost apologetic about something that they call “freedom of religion”? For like many in this country, they have not been allowed to understand that Islam is not so much a religion as a politics and a geopolitics, a worldly faith, one hardly based on a view of the hereafter – to which attention is given in the main only as a hedonistic paradise of dark-eyed houris and “pearly boys” who will service those who go to the Muslim Paradise. And the surest and best way to go is by dying while fighting, and killing, non-Muslims, Infidels.
That is not, for most of us, what a “religion” is mainly about, but faute de mieux, the word “religion” is what these relatives think they must invoke, as they carefully describe or circumscribe their opposition to the proposed 13-story mosque complex as not implying that they are against “freedom of religion” or “tolerance.” That is how far they have been buffaloed by the clever likes of Feisal Abdul Rauf, but not buffaloed enough, apparently, for them to surrender their right to be enraged at the prospect of his mosque.
But should the views of those relatives count? And what if one were to poll the citizens of New York City, or of New York State, or of the United States of America, and discover that, overwhelmingly, they found the idea of this 13-story mosque not merely unseemly, in bad taste, but cruel to the memories of those killed? And what’s more, what if those best-informed about Islam understood that this was not, as Feisal Abdul Rauf has presented it, an act that would somehow – how he never quite says – increase “tolerance” in America? But “tolerance” by whom? And “tolerance” of what, exactly? “Tolerance” will be encouraged by non-Muslims for Muslims? But all over the countries of Western Europe, Muslims, because they are present in larger numbers, have been aggressive and demanding (an instructive and monitory spectacle that should not be, and now is not being, lost on Americans) in their behavior, and their desire to mold the legal and political institutions and social understandings to conform to Muslim desires, Muslim demands.
We Americans have, despite every conceivable provocation, repeatedly shown ourselves “tolerant” of Islam’s adherents by not responding in any way, save that of looking to the slow workings of our elaborately legalistic system, to the many terrorist attacks and just-aborted attacks by Muslims against Americans in our own country and against Americans abroad, for the crime of trying to create better, more prosperous, more unified countries in such unlikely places as Iraq and Afghanistan. In America itself the plotters were in many cases given the rare privilege of American citizenship, which for them was merely a means to remain in this country, and not something for which they felt they had any duty to respond to with gratitude and loyalty. For Islam does not teach Muslims to be loyal to the man-made laws and institutions of an Infidel nation-state. This makes no sense in Islamic terms; it contradicts everything that Islam inculcates.
And Islam inculcates, further, that Islam is, by right, everywhere to dominate, and Muslims to rule, everywhere. The supreme theme of Islam is a worldly one, about power, and about the power of Islam (the true object of worship in Islam is Islam itself), a collectivist and aggressive faith that reduces proselytizing to inveigling people – even before, or perhaps especially before, they fully comprehend the doctrines and loyalties that Islam demands – into uttering the Shahada (the Profession of Faith). And once in, those unwary are “reverts” — “reverts” rather than “converts” because, according to Muslim doctrine, we are all born Muslims, and so if we become Muslims again we are not “converting’ but “reverting.”
But none of the opposition by relatives of 9/11 victims seems to have made an impact on Mayor Bloomberg, or on Representative Nadler, or others in authority. They assumed that even to listen to those who were most immediately and directly affected by the attack of 9/11/2001 would be to show “intolerance,” and that would never do. The word “Tolerance” has now been stripped of all context and hence of all sensible meaning; it has come to be an Idol of the Age, to which we must bring Burnt Offerings, and never to question, in any way, what the Tolerance of the Permanently Intolerant might mean. This is a new phenomenon. I assume that Mayor Bloomberg and Representative Jerry Nadler would have had little trouble coming down hard on Nazis and their adherents. But, I can hear them splutter, how can the adherents of one of the “world’s great religions” possibly be mentioned in the same breath as Nazis?
Well, how can they? Or rather, how do Mayor Bloomberg or Jerrold Nadler know that Islam and its adherents cannot be? For they refuse to study what Islam inculcates. They refuse to consider the testimony of witnesses to Muslim behavior toward non-Muslims, such as the testimony provided at the S.I.O.A. rally by the Sudanese black African Simon Deng, formerly a slave to Arab masters in the Sudan, They refuse to listen to Nonie Darwish, who also spoke at the S.I.O.A. rally. She grew up as a Muslim in Egypt, and only in the mental and physical freedom of the West could this child of an Egyptian father (who was put in charge of mounting fedayeen raids against Israel by Nasser, and as a consequence was killed by the Israelis) find her way out of Islam. So why should we not “Question Authority” (as the fashionable slogan, used by all the wrong people, insists that we do) when that Authority, on matters having to do with Islam, has shown itself unwilling and perhaps incapable of grasping the meaning of Islam and the defensive tactics used by Muslims in the West to keep the unwary unwary? And we are kept unwary even as each small but significant step is taken to demoralize and confuse the Infidels, and to establish beachheads, under the guise of “religious” institutions, that are truly worldly in their intent and in the triumphalism that they evoke.
For what is this 13-story mosque complex? Is it, as Feisal Abdul Rauf would have you believe – he doesn’t believe it for a minute himself – that this would be a monument to interfaith “tolerance”? The argument goes something like this. Americans are in dire need of demonstrating “the angels of their better nature,” because, you see, they have ever since 9/11/2001 behaved terribly toward Muslims, engaging in a massive witch hunt, with every politician vying with every other to denounce Islam and Muslims, and with Americans indiscriminately killing Muslims abroad – or so one would think from Feisal Abdul Rauf’s implication that we must do something to demonstrate our “tolerance.” Of course, there have been no attacks on Muslims, though CAIR has tried to find some and indeed encouraged Muslims to report them. And some enthusiastic Muslims have even torched their own businesses as a way to combine business, or rather lack of business, with the pleasure of blaming Infidels – until they were, on several occasions, found out.
But that doesn’t stop the Muslims-as-victims racketeers, eager to make non-Muslims apologetic and more susceptible to yielding to Muslim demands, from continuing to make it seem as if Muslims in America are on the run. And still the Saudi and other money comes flooding in to pay for mosques and madrasas and carefully-targeted campaigns of Da’wa. Still that Saudi and other Arab money funds seemingly innocuous “documentaries” on Arabia and on the wonders of Islamic Spain – you can find them on educational channels, with the Arab foundations and sponsors listed at the end, and at museums too, to which impressionable children go to get their first cinematic glimpse of the wonders of “Arabia” or a related subject. The propaganda is all over the place, often scarcely recognized, and some considerable thought and expensive talent is going into the effort to soften up our view of Arabs and of Islam. A vast propaganda war, with Western hirelings helping, is being conducted all over the West, without many in the West realizing this, because they are not paying sufficient attention. They are not linking one thing to another.
Feisal Abdul Rauf knows exactly what a 13-story mosque complex would mean, both for Americans and for Muslims. For Americans it would mean nothing save that it would be a permanent symbol of their own gullibility, and a permanent offense to all the victims of Muslim terrorism, and to the relatives of those victims. It would not have anything to do with changes in the Muslim perception of American Infidels, for those Infidels are hated if they oppose attempts by Muslims to remove all obstacles to the spread and then the dominance of Islam. And they are still hated, but now regarded in addition with contempt, if they do not oppose what the Muslims are perfectly aware of as attempts to remove the obstacles to the spread and then the dominance of Islam.
For Muslims, a gigantic 100-million dollar mosque complex, deliberately placed right near the World Trade Center, on a spot where previous structures were hit with shrapnel from those attacks, would be a symbolic beachhead. It would be as heartening as was that mosque built on land owned by the city of Rome. That land was donated (in an act of misguided “tolerance” as those Italians involved in that effort now sadly recognize) so that the Arabs could build a giant mosque not a mile from the Vatican, in the city that they know was, according to a Hadith, foreseen by Muhammad as being the next great city, after Constantinople, that would fall to what Muslims like to think of as the unstoppable forces of Islam. The building of that mosque on Roman land so close to the Vatican, has not led to any displays of tolerance by Arabs or Muslims in Italy. It has merely encouraged them. Witnesses who attended the dedication of the mosque reported at the time that it seemed more like the establishing, triumphantly, of a military beachhead, rather than the opening of a religious building.
And the very same thing happened in Grenada, where Spanish authorities allowed a mosque to be built right next to the Alhambra, on the heights, overlooking a nunnery below. At the dedication ceremonies, Muslims came from all over Europe. They did not come to express their thanks to the Spanish government. Nor did any of them suggest that just maybe they would now work to convince Saudi Arabia to allow even a single tiny church to be built to take care of the religious needs of millions of foreign wage-slaves who keep that country functioning, but who are not only arrested and tortured and imprisoned if they try to speak openly about Christianity but are also punished if they dare, behind closed doors, to sing Christmas carols — as years ago some British nurses found out to their surprise and sorrow. No, at the mosque dedication in Grenada, as at that in Rome a few years before that, there were calls by some speakers for Muslims not to use Western currency, but rather gold, and to work to “bring down” the economies of Western Europe, that is, of the countries that had so generously, if naively, admitted them and allowed them to acquire citizenship.
But what Houari Boumedienne predicted at the U.N. in 1974 and what Muammar Qaddafy predicted in 1996, and what many other Muslims (you can find them online, at YouTube) talk and write openly about, that is, the demographic conquest of Europe — which, as Qaddafy said, “does not belong to Europeans” but, by rights, to those who are the true masters of the world, the “best of peoples,” the Muslims – is aided both practically and symbolically by the construction of mosques. And Muslims have a penchant for mega-mosques. Indeed, they have tried to build several recently in London, and only through great efforts by protesters have those projects been halted.
Why, you may ask? Why the huge mosque complexes? The reason is that Islam is a collectivist faith, and the spectacle of thousands of people prostrating themselves in unison is understood to be a kind of impressive sight. It is impressive, that is, to the Believers themselves who enjoy the crowd psychology of it all, the enrolling of themselves in a Nuremberg-rally mass, in which they lose whatever hint of individuality they might have had. Western man prays differently. He prays individually even if in a church with others, not as a mass that, in trained unison, bows to a Creator whose ways and decisions are never to be subject to moral debate, and whose rules, that is, the Total Islamic Regulation of Life, must never be questioned either. For to question one part of Islam is to potentially call into question the whole brittle mental and emotional framework of Islam, which cannot stand and will not tolerate free and skeptical inquiry.
The mosques of Rome and Grenada are not centers of “tolerance.” There is no mosque on record either in the vast Muslim world, or among the thousands upon thousands of mosques that have been built all over the West, of a single one of these mosques being a force to encourage “tolerance” among its worshippers, or to “serve as a center of tolerance.” Mosques have been used, as we all know, as places from which fire has been rained down on Americans and other Infidels in Iraq. And in the West, mosques have been raided in many different countries and by many different police forces. They have been found to contain false ceilings, where explosives, guns, false papers including false passports, and other suspect or dangerous items, have been found. Just ask any of the anti-terrorism heads or magistrates – ask, for example, Jean-Louis Bruguiere of France, now a consultant, thank god, in Washington (where one hopes his sober and no-nonsense views, based on years of successful activity, will find a receptive audience).
In 1998 the secular magistrates of Turkey sentenced one Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ten months in prison — he served only four – for reciting an Islamic poem that contained these by-now-famous lines: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…”
The mosque is not merely a place of worship, like a church or a synagogue. It is a symbol of thrusting power. The minaret is not necessary, not in an age when clocks and watches are everywhere, and where the time for prayer can be pre-set even on computers; it is, rather, a deliberate symbol of power, for minarets were constructed to deliberately o’ertop the bell towers or campanile of Christians. For the same reason – to tower over the structures of other religions – Muslims insisted that, under Muslim rule, no churches or synagogues could exist on land higher than the land on which nearby mosques were situated. It was important for the mosques, that is, the symbols of Islam’ s power and might, to triumphantly lord it over the signs and symbols of other, less fanatical, less worldly, and less threatening, faiths.
It may be that those who have dismissed the S.I.O.A. rally, and the fury over this 100-million-dollar mosque to be built with such cruel deliberation right near Ground Zero, or at least some of them, have no idea of what a mosque is, or how mosques are used. They may be unaware of the use of mosques as military outposts in Dar al-Islam. When members of Al Qaeda blew up a famous Shi’a mosque in Iraq, with its gold-tumanned dome, they were Muslims attacking other Muslims. But the war was not so much one over theology, though the Sunni attackers despised the theology of the Shi’a they attacked, but over worldly power, over who was going to keep political and hence economic power in Iraq. Mosques are understood not to be quiet places of worship, but places where rank upon serried rank of men, in prostrating themselves, declare themselves again to be “slaves of Allah.” In the Western world this means that, as “slaves of Allah,” they must unthinkingly accept the duty, central and not tangential to Islam, of participating directly or indirectly in the “struggle” or Jihad to remove all obstacles to the spread and then the dominance of Islam. Those who are surprised that Muslims can come out of Friday Prayers, where the sermon, or Khutba, is almost always political in nature and ordinarily involves in Muslim lands, a declaration of loyalty to the ruler (and the failure to include such a declaration is a sign of great and worrisome discontent) and then beat to death, as has happened, a poor passing Hindu, do not understand how a crowd can be whipped up to fanatical hatred by incantation of verses and recitation of the acts of plunder and war committed by Muhammad, against not only the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis, but many others besides. But it should not surprise anyone that people can be whipped up at a mosque to such deeds.
Nor should it should surprise anyone that the list of mosques all over the Western world, where authorities have discovered, as noted above, explosives and weapons and false papers (sometimes hidden in false ceilings), grows longer. So also does the number of mosques that are said to “radicalize” the attendees, which is a curious way of saying that those mosques make those people aware of the full message of Islam, without any pulling of punches, any omissions, any pretense that this is not part of Islam or a part of Islam that we can safely ignore. The “radicalization” that takes place might more accurately be described as “Full Islamization,” where those who know themselves to be Muslims – that was their identity, that was what gave their lives meaning, that was their Alpha and their Omega – learn exactly what that means. There must be many Muslim parents who grew up at a time when Islam was weaker and hence the force and appeal of Jihad less threatening and less widespread, who never expected their own children to become full-fledged Jihadists. They are unable, however, to stop their children, for they have no chapter and verse to quote to stop them. The Islamic texts are all on the side of the radicals. Those who do not want, out of a desire to prevent their children from sacrificing themselves or giving up the opportunities that the generous and advanced West offers to Muslims in such heedless abundance, to have their children be “radicalized” have no texts upon which to rely, but only the tug of filial piety, if it can be invoked not in order to have their children take Islam fully seriously, but so that they might take it less so, on the rocks of nuance and custom and simple human indifference, rather than dangerously straight up, with no dilution of the message.
Feisal Abdul Rauf is not a man who has ever, it seems, denounced straightforwardly, using language that is unambiguous (the phrase “innocent civilians” for example is not unambiguous, nor is the word “unjustified” nor the word “legitimate” – these are all full of the loopholes that W. C. Fields looked for in the Bible), violent Jihad. Nor has he helped – if he wishes to help – Infidels to understand the texts and tenets of Islam. We have seen his like many times before. These are the smiling plausible Muslim clerics who relish their ability to manipulate the emotions of Infidels, to play on their fear of appearing to be “intolerant,” to exploit their misunderstanding of the political and geopolitical aspects of Islam because the word “religion” gets so confusingly in the way. His motives for establishing this mosque are, of course, in the first place to aggrandize himself, and to do well. The mere raising of 100 million dollars will, of course, require him to spend time with big donors, perhaps even in Saudi Arabia itself. And one knows that he, Feisal Abdul Rauf, will do fine, will do well, as some of that money, and that Islamic glory, will rub off on himself.
Do you think his donors, those men with their sneers of cold command, their goatees, their daggers-and-dishdashas dances, their sinister appraisal of the West and of the “blue-eyed slaves” that, as one Saudi prince said of American air force men, “we summon whenever we want” – do you think these people, who have spent nearly 100 billion dollars over the last few decades on Islamic propaganda, and mosques and madrasas and campaigns of Da’wa around the world, are going to shell out 100 million dollars because they want to make a statement on behalf of “tolerance”? Do you think they have not had a thousand opportunities to make “statements” on behalf of “tolerance” and have, just like Feisal Abdul Rauf himself, never actually done so, because they do not believe in real “tolerance” as we in the advanced non-Muslim West understand that term? Rather, they think that tolerance means allowing those who are People of the Book, Ahl al-Kitab, Christians and Jews, to stay alive under Muslim rule, though subject to the prescribed humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity that is the lot, at best, of all non-Muslims who are allowed to survive as dhimmis in Dar al-Islam. We can see that, as Muslims feel themselves to be stronger, they revert to their previous mistreatment of Copts in Egypt, and Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq, mistreatment that, for a century-and-a-half when European powers had been in the Middle East and been clearly far stronger than local Muslims, was suspended or modified.
Apparently those who wish to behave in holier-than-thou fashion, and thus to dismiss those who question the wisdom and the decency of supporting this mosque – this symbol of Muslim power – are so interested in retaining their precious “tolerance” as they see it that they will not take the time to learn about Islam. They will not take the time to observe, vigilantly, and then make sense of, relate to the texts and tenets of Islam, the observable behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims all over the world.
It is a pity that people at the level of Keith Olbermann are allowed to calumniate and suggest “racism.” One would like Simon Deng to be invited onto a news show where he might talk not only about his own experience as a black slave of Muslim Arabs, but about slavery in Islam, slavery made legitimate, and forever, in Islam, by the example of Muhammad and his fellows. One would like Joseph Nassralla, the Copt whose guest, fresh from Egypt, inadvertently caused a momentary stir that enemies of the S.I.O.A. have made so ridiculously much of, when the explanation for what happened is simple and clear, to appear on these shows. One would like Nonie Darwish to be invited. And it would be nice, too, if those who are perfectly liberal, in the old sense of that word, were to be invited on, to give the lie that is so convenient for so many, that only “tea-partiers” or only “right-wing” or, still worse, “extreme right-wing” people, could possibly object to this mosque.
If it indeed does go up, it will be a monument to the cruel fecklessness of Mayor Bloomberg and others who presume to protect and instruct us but do so, or pretend to do so, on the basis of assumptions about Islam, and the function and purpose of the mosque, that are simply wrong.
If that 100-million dollar mosque is put up, all Muslims visiting New York, and those who do not visit New York but see with pleasure pictures of that mosque, will come to believe that yes, Islam is on the march, Islam is unstoppable. In Rome, and London, and Paris, mosques go up, sometimes on land donated, or on land inveigled from the local authorities at much-below market prices. And the bigger they are the better, for they are to be symbols of Muslim power and might. And the triumphalism of Islam–the triumphalism that leads them now to predict a Muslim future for the countries of Western Europe, and leads them to predict the disappearance of the infidel nation-state of Israel, will be given a fantastic boost.
Perhaps some do not understand that triumphalism and its important role in Islam. They do not realize what a triumph that mosque would be right there in Lower Manhattan, where nearly ten years ago an attack took place that at the time one would have predicted would lead to an intelligent investigation, by many, of what the ideology of Islam contains.
But that has not happened at the rate one would like, a rate necessary to rescue the West from the consequences of its own ignorance and heedlessness, especially in the countries of Western Europe.
It is not too late. There is still time to support S.I.O.A. and all others who have recognized the problem that is associated not only with this mosque that is set to be placed with such cruel cunning and, for some, a plausible cover story about a “symbol of tolerance” that explains the choice of site not merely as deliberate, but sweetly, even winningly, so, but with other mosques and madrasas and demands for this and for that. There is still time for some of those who have until now allowed themselves not to inquire too deeply into Islam and thus to participate in Interfaith Healing Racketeering, and to allow themselves to be conned and used for the furtherance not of real “tolerance” but of the aims of organized Islam.
Everything was all right, said the Frenchman, until that moment when la bÃªtise s’est mise Ã penser: When Stupidity Began To Think. Stupidity has begun to think, and to express its idiotic opinions, about things that the proud possessors of such Stupidity know nothing about. Their ranks include mayors, representatives, all kinds of worthies who are used to being listened to with authority. But in this case they have no authority, their mental cupboard is bare. You are not allowed on the basis of the word “religion” to exempt Islam from critical scrutiny. You are not allowed to pretend that “all religions do it” or “it’s only the extremists” or “in any case, we must not cease to be tolerant for otherwise the extremists will have won” or any similar remarks that too many allow to pass without expressing their contempt for and horror at the idiotic complacency and miscomprehension that lies behind them.
There is still time to save ourselves. Just.